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The Ultimate 2024 Guide to Dog Training Classes by Age

Last updated on January 8th, 2024 at 02:41 pm

Teaching basic commands might not always be enough to help your dog become a well-behaved and happy companion. There’s no need to fret, as a solution is readily available. Dog training classes are a gateway to transforming your four-legged friend into a well-adjusted and obedient family member. But what you should know about these classes and how to find the right one. Explore the rest of this blog post for more information and resources.

What is the best age to start dog training classes?

Even if your little furball is just 8 weeks old, you can already begin teaching them the basics of being a good dog. And don’t worry if you have an older pup with a few behavioral issues; they can still learn new skills! It might take a little longer, but your adult dog can become a well-behaved pet with patience and persistence. 

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most memorable moments of life. But before bringing your new best friend home, it’s vital to have all the right things to make sure the adoption is really smooth and makes them feel right. You may feel overwhelmed by tons of puppy products on sale and not sure what items your puppy actually needs. That’s why I’ve compiled this minimalist puppy checklist to help you get started.

How long does it take to train a dog?

dog training classes

Well, the truth is, it can vary depending on a few factors. Typically, it takes around 6 weeks to teach your dog the basics, but if you’re doing longer training sessions every day, it could take up to 4 weeks. On the other hand, if you’re doing shorter training sessions every other week, it might take closer to 9 weeks. 

What are the 5 golden rules of dog training?

While there might be some variations depending on the trainer’s philosophy, here are 5 widely accepted golden rules of dog training:

    1. Train at your dog’s pace: Every dog learns at their own pace, influenced by their breed, age, and personality. So, don’t push them too hard. Keep training sessions short and positive, and tailor them to their understanding.
    2. Be consistent: Use the same commands, cues, and rewards for the same behavior. This helps your dog know what to expect and builds trust.
    3. Positive reinforcement is key: Reward your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, or play. This makes training fun and encourages them to repeat desired behaviors.
    4. Set your dog up for success: Choose controlled environments for training to minimize distractions and temptations. Gradually increase the difficulty as your dog masters tasks to keep them motivated.
    5. Be patient: Learning takes time and repetition. Keep calm, be patient, and celebrate even small victories. 

Which is better: Online or offline dog training classes?

Choosing between online and offline dog training depends on your individual needs and preferences, as well as your dog’s personality and learning style. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

Choose offline dog training classes if:

    • Your dog needs personalized attention: If your dog has specific behavioral problems or you’re a new owner wanting in-depth training guidance, the trainer’s immediate feedback and adjustments in an offline setting can be invaluable.
    • Your dog needs socialization: Shy or anxious dogs can benefit from interacting with other canines and people in a controlled environment like a group class.
    • Your dog thrives on structure and routine: The consistent schedule and focused environment of offline classes can help easily distracted or hyperactive dogs.
    • You prefer in-person learning: You learn best visually or by doing and enjoy a physical class’s interaction and real-time feedback.

Choose online dog training classes if:

    • Convenience and flexibility are key: You have a busy schedule, live far from a training facility, or prefer training at your own pace and time.
    • Budget is a concern: Online courses are often more affordable than offline classes, especially in big cities.
    • You want specific training options: You seek courses targeting specific needs like leash pulling, separation anxiety, or advanced tricks.
    • Independent learning suits you: You’re self-motivated and comfortable learning through videos, written materials, and online communities.

Typical dog training classes by age

dog training classes

To make things easier for you, I’ve categorized the most common dog training classes based on your dog’s age and development:

Stage 1: Dog training classes for puppies (7-8 weeks to 18 months)

FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS

Ultimate Puppy Bundle: This course teaches you how to train your puppy to avoid destructive behaviors like biting, chewing, and accidents, plus follow basic commands like sit, stay, and come. It also provides tips on socialization.

Mastering Potty Training Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to potty outside using a step-by-step approach that includes understanding the causes of potty problems and tapping into your dog’s natural instinct to be clean.

Basic Obedience Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to sit, lie down, stay, not steal food, pay attention to you, etc. It also teaches you why dogs misbehave and how to change their behavior.

Recall Expert Bundle: This course teaches you how to train your dog to come when called, even in distracting situations.

Loose Leash Walking Bundle: This course teaches you how to train your dog to walk on a loose leash. You’ll also learn about dog behavior and how to use treats and praise to motivate your furry friend.

Indoor Games For Small Spaces Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to do various tricks and behaviors using common household items. You’ll learn foundation behaviors like impulse control, coming to your side, putting paws on objects, etc. The games are designed to be fun and can be done in small spaces.

ENRICHMENT & BONDING

Dog Tricks: This course teaches you a variety of dog tricks, like sitting pretty, rolling over, handstand, crawling, spinning, etc., and how to communicate with your four-legged friend and have fun together.

Dog Agility: This course teaches you how to train your dog to do agility exercises, such as jumping, weaving, and running. You’ll learn ways to motivate them and even incorporate obedience and focus skills.

SpiritDog Parkour Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to do parkour, including individual moves, course maps, and demonstrations. It’s suitable for dogs of all breeds and physical conditions.

Learn To Fetch Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to fetch toys using many methods, including the 500 ball game, the one toy running game, and the two toy running game.

Stage 2: Dog training classes for adults (18 months to 7 years)

GENERAL OBEDIENCE & REFINEMENT

Perfect Obedience Bundle: This course teaches you how to train your dog to be obedient using positive reinforcement methods. You’ll learn basic obedience, loose leash walking, stopping jumping, and addressing behavioral problems like separation anxiety and reactivity.

Just Listen Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to listen to you even under distractions, using positive reinforcement and techniques like responding to their cues and preventing mistakes. 

BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

The Perfect Focus Bundle: This course teaches you how to train your dog to focus on you, even in distracting situations. It addresses common focus issues such as overarousal, reactivity, and being easily distracted.

Calm Down Course: This course teaches you how to calm down your dog using positive methods, including impulse control, brain games, and agility training.

Rescue Dog Bundle: This course teaches you to train your rescue dog to overcome past trauma and unwanted behaviors, using positive reinforcement and addressing common rescue dog behaviors like reactivity, resource guarding, and leash pulling.

Tackling Reactivity Bundle: This course teaches you how to train your reactive dog to overcome their reactivity, including understanding their triggers, calming them down, and managing their environment.

Taking Turns Course: This course teaches you how to train your dogs to take turns and wait patiently through fear-free training methods.

Confidence Booster Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to be more confident using science-based methods and step-by-step instructions. You’ll learn to make your dog feel secure, discover the power of routines, teach fun games, and show your dog the world is friendly.

ADVANCED SKILLS

Stop Resource Guarding: This course teaches you how to stop your dog from resource guarding, using video lessons, quizzes, and lifetime access to the materials.

Distance Control Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to listen to you from far away, using a variety of cues and techniques. 

Frisbee Games Course: This course teaches you how to train your dog to catch a frisbee and then turn your dog into a frisbee star. 

Stage 3: Dog training classes for seniors (7+ years)

MAINTAINING HEALTH & WELLBEING

Canine Fitness Course: This course teaches you how to safely get your dog in shape, prevent injuries, and reach their fitness goals. You’ll learn exercises to build strength, flexibility, and balance, plus keep your furry friend mentally stimulated to avoid boredom.

Comprehensive training solution for every dog

Are you searching for the ultimate dog training solution? Take a look at the SpiritDog Masterclass Bundle. This comprehensive package consists of 17 video courses covering a wide range of training topics.

Key features:

      • Extensive curriculum: Offers a variety of courses addressing different aspects of dog training, catering to diverse needs and interests.
      • Expert instruction: Features lessons delivered by experienced trainers, providing access to professional knowledge and techniques.
      • Flexible learning: Allows access to video lessons anytime and anywhere, enabling self-paced learning at your convenience.
      • Targeted solutions: Includes courses aimed at addressing specific behavioral challenges commonly encountered by dog owners.
      • Supplementary resources: Provides access to ongoing support from trainers and an online community, offering additional guidance and interaction.

Potential considerations:

      • Cost: The bundle may represent a significant upfront investment compared to purchasing individual courses.
      • Self-directed learning: The program relies on self-directed learning, which may require discipline and commitment from you.

Overall, the SpiritDog Masterclass Bundle offers a comprehensive and potentially valuable resource for dog training. Before making a decision, consider your needs and preferences and weigh the features and considerations carefully.

In addition, don’t just take our word for it! Read the many positive testimonials from dog owners who have transformed their relationships with their furry companions thanks to the SpiritDog Masterclass Bundle

Free dog training resources

dog training classes

I recently found an excellent free online dog training workshop from the K9 Training Institute. I highly recommend you sign up right away. This unique workshop is the first of its kind, specifically designed to help “normal” dogs achieve the same level of calmness, obedience, and impulse control as service dogs. The workshop was eye-opening for me, shedding light on why regular dog owners often struggle with training.

Giving your dog a job to do

One crucial lesson from the workshop is the biggest mistake most owners make: not giving their dogs a job to do. Service dogs excel in behavior because they always have a task. It’s not about physical activities; it’s about mindset. When you signal a service dog to “DOWN,” they see it as a serious commitment, remaining in that spot until given a new task. This distinct mindset sets service dogs apart from “normal” dogs, who often view commands as tricks.

How to train your dog to have the same mindset as a service dog

The good news is that you can train your dog to have the same mindset. Enter the K9 Training Institute’s free online workshop, led by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”). The workshop shares groundbreaking techniques used by the service dog training industry, applicable to all dog breeds.

This pre-recorded workshop allows you to watch at your convenience. While it’s free, I’m unsure how long it’ll be available online, so I think you may want to check it out soon. Here’s the link again. 

About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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